Well, I’m actually back home, recovering, but I’m going to keep my promise and recap each and every day on the mountain.
Day 9 at Bread Loaf was a staff day off. (Yay. This is the first year they’ve done this and it was very welcome.) Most of us did laundry, slept late, and engaged in other college-dorm-like activities. I had workshop at ten and had a bit more reading/commenting to do beforehand, so I didn’t sleep in. Workshop took us to lunchtime where we were having mac and cheese! Oh, the joys of comfort food. They could serve that every day (instead of the endless chicken) and I’d be happy.
I was sitting at lunch with Ru (another staffer) quietly enjoying my comfort food and anticipating an after-lunch meeting with Dorian Karchmar an agent at William Morris, when I got the rushed message, “Stop eating! We’re kidnapping Michael (meaning Michael Collier, the director) and taking him to lunch.” But the mac and cheese was so good, and I’m not real great at switching gears mid-bite, so I finished my food, found Dorian to reschedule, and met them outside. Lunch was at a lovely restaurant in Rochester (VT) and even though I was full I indulged in a marvelous coffee milkshake from their soda fountain. There was a nearby used-and-new book store, too, and I found three books I couldn’t pass up: a book of Ruth Gordon’s poetry, a Peter Matthiessen non-fiction and a paperback fantasy for my son.
Mid-afternoon I caught back up with Dorian and had a nice discussion about publishing and establishing the writer’s long-term career. One nugget: She said that the prevailing first-book wisdom is changing. In a two-book deal, it was often the short story collection that was published first, but the thinking now is that it’s better to have the novel published first, establish a readership, then come out with the collection. Luckily, I have both, just ready to go (well, very nearly ready). 🙂
For dinner, the staff and waiters converged (courtesy of several caravans) at Ian Pounds fabulous, hand-built house for pizza, music and dancing. I left early to go to a party at the Gilmore Guys’ house where they had a great bonfire, drinks, and music. I desperately wanted to stay, but wanted sleep more, and so I left and hit the sack by midnight. Boring, I know, but when I wring the most out of every second of the day, I have very little left for the night. I’ll have to work on that.